breed profile

Born to win –American Staffordshire Terrier

If you are looking for a family member who will be caring, loving and ready to go to any heights for you, then bring home an American Staffordshire Terrier and you will never be alone!

“The American Staffordshire Terrier is the strongest dog in the world for his size. He exudes self-confidence and is highly intelligent. His very nearly human facial expressions…make him both handsome and comical. With sleek coat, muscular body and agile movements, he is a large dog wrapped in a medium-sized package – enough dog for anyone and too much dog for some,” sums up Jacqueline Fraser, ‘The American Staffordshire Terrier’ Denlinger, 1991.

The origins…breed profile

The Amstaff originated in the early 1800s by combining the Bulldog of that era to the now extinct Game Terrier. Their ancestors were bred to be pit dogs and were victims of human cruelty and entertainment. A quotation from a ‘pit man’ in early research embodies the Amstaff temperament, “These dogs were not bred to fight (any dog will fight) – these dogs were bred to WIN”. It is this winning attitude that endears the Amstaff to so many people and makes the breed so versatile and adaptable.

When bull baiting and pitting dogs became illegal, the Amstaff easily used his abilities and intelligence in other venues. In rural America, he soon became an invaluable member of the family farm. He is an excellent stock dog, catch dog, hunting dog and protector of livestock and family. He successfully works as a search and rescue dog, therapy dog, an accomplished actor and decorated war hero. No task is too difficult for this intelligent and agile dog.

Epitome of strength…

The American Staffordshire Terrier gives the impression of great strength for his size. He is muscular, agile and graceful, keenly alive to his surroundings. His eyes are dark and round and ears are set high on the head. Their coat is short and smooth.

The Amstaff’s height and weight are proportionate. The males are 18 to 19 inches at the shoulders, the females are 17 to 18 inches, and their weight range from 60 to 70 lbs. They are available in many colours; however, all white or black and tan are discouraged.

The non-typical terrier…

The American Staffordshire Terriers are poised and alert to their surroundings; if they are startled or threatened, they will not cower or flee but will meet the challenge head on. The Amstaff’s energy is boundless; he has exuberance for life and is an athlete with no limitations. They are not a dog who should be tied or left without human interaction, because their primary objective is to please their pet parents and to be separated from him for length of time; they view as punishment and more unbearable than death.

Bragging rights…

Every Amstaff pet parent has a story to share, of how his or her dog has protected or provided a service for them or a member of their family. They are constant companions and champions of children and adults alike, they recognise the difference between friend and foe and will rise to any challenge he encounters. They will lay their own lives down to protect their human without regard to their own safety.

Living with them…

They can live in an apartment if they are exercised properly. They prefer warm climates and are active indoors. They need to be exercised everyday, which may include long daily walks, jogs or runs.

They need to be groomed regularly – brush them with a firm bristle brush and bathe or dry shampoo them when necessary.

On adopting…

Inviting an Amstaff to be a member of your family is a decision not to be taken lightly. They do require a leader who will help them funnel their energy and exercise their intelligence with challenges. They are content to live on a farm or in the city, as long as they are with their family they are content. Be prepared to be entertained!

(Tammy Marsh runs the Dapple Hills Amstaffs, USA – www.dapplehillsamstaffs.com).

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.